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Thread: Bellows and Macro Rail on Ebay - are they any good

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    Bellows and Macro Rail on Ebay - are they any good

    Has anyone (Pentaxians) tried out the Ebay Bellows. What are the pros and cons, image wise?
    I realise that everything will be manual, I has access to older Pentax lenses with aperture ring.

    The thing is that it comes with a two way macro rail, all $100. Even if the bellows are below par, I can still use the macro rail.

    look up Ebay: 'Macro Foucus Slide Rail Macro Lens Fold Bellows For Pentax K-x K-m K-7 K20D K100'

    opinions before I purchase.
    Br Barry
    Flickr

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] + 18-55WR + 50-200WR + Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 DC Macro
    Sigma APO 70-200 f2.8 EX DG OS HSM + Sigma EF-610 DG Super Flash

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Hi Barry

    I bought a Velbon Super mag slider, and while it does the job, sort of, there is some movement in the rails and mount.

    I'd be looking for an old Asahi Pentax unit because they were very well engineered, although a lot will come with the M42 mount.

    Check eBay overseas sites such as http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...ows&_sacat=625

    Good luck
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    mongo has a couple - one after market and one older genuine Pentax double rail with slide copier attachment as well.


    The after market is just OK and will probably do the job depending on which after market one it is.

    The Pentax is supurb in build and function quality like the best swiss watch
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I've seen some cheap rails and bellows, and was tempted due to the half decent price.

    The real McCoy Nikon bellows were hard to come by at even 5x the price, and I wnet along for the ride as they came and went on Ebay and I missed out by a few dollars on many of them.

    Eventually I got mine at my price and compared to the cheaper gear, it's easy to see why they cost so much more for 20 or mor eyear old bits and pieces!

    Quality of workmanship and engineering is well over 5x the level of the cheapies!

    Once locked down this thing is solid basically immovable .. all I need now is a better tripod!(again )

    Opinion before purchase: If you don't mind wasting a bit of money for testing purposes and unless you want to go through it all over again to get the real McCoy, I'd say save your pennies.

    Alternatively, if you are good with fixing broken stuff and have access to the kind of gear that allows you to re-engineer the stuff, it could work out OK.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83
    Alternatively, if you are good with fixing broken stuff and have access to the kind of gear that allows you to re-engineer the stuff, it could work out OK.
    Thanks Arthur, I'm a toolmaker by trade, so that thought had crossed my mind. What I am sort of worried about is mucking up the bayonet and lens connections on the camera.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdparker View Post
    Thanks Arthur, I'm a toolmaker by trade, so that thought had crossed my mind. What I am sort of worried about is mucking up the bayonet and lens connections on the camera.

    Mongo would not worry about that if he were you. This should not occur.
    One potential problem Mongo noticed on older bellows (originally designed for film cameras) is that they sometimes (but not always) came in contact with the larger battery compartment on the right hand side of the camera i.e the right hand grip of the camera. Older film cameras either did not have this large grip or it was smaller than most of the digital cameras of today. So, you can still use the bellows but ironically you may have to put a short extension ring in between the bellows mount and the camera to give the camera enough clearance to mount onto the bellows. Then, you may be back to the extension ring issues and contact points issues again unless you use the correct rings.
    In a perfect world you would want to physically see and try out the bellows on your equipment before you buy.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdparker View Post
    Thanks Arthur, I'm a toolmaker by trade, so that thought had crossed my mind. What I am sort of worried about is mucking up the bayonet and lens connections on the camera.
    The lens and camera mounts themselves should be fine.

    Where the issue lies with these Chinese Cheapies is that the rails are almost certain to have 0.005mm of play in them.
    They may lock down tight and not move on their own accord, but that little bit of give and shimmy spread out across 4 or 5 points all add up to play havoc with your mind.
    Just as you think you've framed the subject perfectly, you lock down the rails/bellows/tripod because it all looks perfectly framed, to subsequently find that it moved 0.05mm in any random direction, and you've chopped the tip of a petal, or the wing of some insect.

    This is where I'm currently having issues with my bellows.
    Bellows is perfectly fine, rock solid and smooth as a well oiled machine. But the useless tripod head I'm currently stuck with(name withheld, but those that know me know how much I don't respect this particular brand!!) anyhow .. the inadequate tripod head is giving me grief in that I have to pre compensate the framing before I lock it down so that when I do lock it into place, I have the correct framing.

    Problem is that I'm not going to waste another $20 on a plate for my other tripod head(of similar manufacture), and I have plans to acquire a set of RRS accessories, which will end up costing well over the $1K mark as it is.. and that's just for a single ball head, and about 5 plates and possibly one macro rail(to complement the bellows).

    The PB-4 bellows/rail is great as it has a dual action system where you can simply use it as a bellows or alternatively as rail with about 120mm of travel(can't remember, but it's heaps for now).

    If you're a toolmaker by trade then I'd say for sure go for it. You would obviously have some sort of access to a milling machine if it requires a skim to reduce clearances here or there, or to manufacture some tighter fitting bushings to reduce any loose tolerances that affect the operation of the device.

    That's one of my long term plans and goals .. once I get my shed built, I want a small lathe to manufacture any crazy design to my own specs, rather than rely on other's flawed designs.

    Now you said that you're worried about mucking up the bayonet and lens connections on the camera.
    Does this imply that the bellows will have electrical connenctions from lens to camera?
    Bellows usually don't.
    When I stopped looking at the various cheap bellows and decisively changed tack toward the Nikon bellows, I'd never seen any that allows electrical comms from lens to camera.

    I'm not even sure if there is any point in doing so anyhow.

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    Well I took a chance and have made the Ebay purchase. Will update when it arrives.

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